Baseball Falls to Salem in MASCAC Opener

Baseball Falls to Salem in MASCAC Opener

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior right-hander Andrew McLaughlin (Peabody, Mass.) tossed a complete game to lead the visiting Salem State University baseball team to a 7-1 victory over Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rival Bridgewater State University on Friday afternoon at Alumni Park. The game marked the MASCAC opener for both teams.

The Vikings improve to 7-5 (1-0 MASCAC) on the season, while the host Bears fall to 3-7 (0-1 MASCAC).

McLaughlin (3-0) scattered eight hits (all singles), did not walk a batter and fanned nine. He threw 98 pitches, 77 for strikes.

Junior Traverse Briana (Lynnfield, Mass.) went 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, two runs and an RBI to highlight the Salem offense, while classmate Mike Griffin (Hudson, N.H.) was 1-for-2 at the plate with a double, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Griffin scored a run and drove in two.

Freshman Ruben Gonzalez (Stoughton, Mass.) and junior Jonathan Livolsi (Bridgewater, Mass.) each recorded multiple hits for the Bears. Gonzalez singled twice in four at bats, while Livolsi went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly as he extended his season-long hitting streak to ten games.

The Vikings pushed across a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third inning as they took advantage of a pair of BSU errors. Briana drove in the first run of the frame with an RBI single, while Griffin added a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 game.

Back-to-back doubles by Briana and Griffin started a three-run uprising for the Vikings in the top of the sixth. Following a Kyle O'Connor (Lynn, Mass.) single, Griffin trotted home from third on an errant pickoff attempt. O'Connor scored the third run of the frame on a double play ground out.

Salem tacked on two more runs in the eighth to make it a 7-0 game. Briana singled to start the inning, advanced to second on Griffin's walk, stole third and scored on O'Connor's fielder's choice RBI ground out. O'Connor then stole second and third and raced home on an infield error.

The Bears loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth on singles by senior Gavin Sparkman (Beverly, Mass.), freshman Liam Bell (Wells, Maine) and Gonzalez. Livolsi broke up the shutout bid with sacrifice fly to make it a 7-1 game.

Bell extended his hitting streak to seven games with his base hit in the eighth.

Senior Jarrett Archambault (Seekonk, Mass.) was tagged with the loss for the Bears. Archambault gave up five runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six innings.

The Bears and Vikings square off again in a MASCAC doubleheader on Saturday at Salem with game one getting underway at noon.